Friday, May 3, 2019

Bucket Seat: Audi Q8 - First Impressions

With the SUV market growing bigger and bigger every year, the strive for market dominance is getting increasingly harder with the variance across the range. While there are many luxury premium SUV's out there, many of them were just raised sedans with the most it could do was hop pavements hence the price tags had you wondering if it justifies what you're getting. Of recent though, many are coming to the party with their offerings having more off-road tech, allowing the owners to take their yachts of the road on the roads less traveled. With the SUV craze, it spawned a new type of luxury raised vehicle, the coupe style SAC, for most part, many of the first gen SUV Coupe's looked awkward and out of place, with us seeing some second gen models being released of recent, I must admit, the designs have much better flow about them, however Audi this week launched their all new Q8 which is a Coupe based SUV built on their Q7 platform and they just got it so right. 

The latest of the Q family and in my opinion the best looking, this model is dubbed the halo and is a new top model of Audi's range of SUV's. It's a luxuriously equipped SUV coupe that is suitable for for business and pleasure. Audi's design language is brought through beautifully in every element of this car. The lines are clean, the angles and proportions are perfect, not having that awkward stance that many of the other SUV coupe's have, also that laser light show it gives is next level. 

Being based on the Q7, the Q8 is wider but shorter and lower that the Q7, it is still quite a sizable car with it measuring almost 5 meters in length and 2 meteres wide. This still leaves the interior with loads of space for it's passengers. The rear doesn't have the sharp reclining roof line which compromises head room for the rear passengers as most of the slope occurs over the tailgate. But luggage space is still quite decent with 1,755 litres to fill. Ground clearance on the Q8 comes in at 254 millimeters which is substantial for light off roading, it has short overhands, quattro permanent all wheel drive and hill descent control so you can keep going on with the Q8 even when the paved road ends. 

The Q8 is launched locally with just one model, the Q8 55 TFSI which is powered by a 3 litre , six-cylinder that produces 250kW of power and 500 Nm of torque. a 3.0 TDi variant will be launched mid 2019. Claimed fuel consumption on the 55 TFSI is between 9.1-8.9 litres per 100 kilometers. The engine makes use of a mild hybrid drive train, dubbed (MHEV) which has a 48 volt main electrical system with a lithium-ion better and a belt alternator starter which enables long coasting phases with the combustion engine deactivated. On the interior, it's much of the same from the latest Audi's, really well set out, very driver orientated and big touch screens to help you navigate the various controls. With the crazy SUV love in the country, I can see this one doing very well. 

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